WRITING A DRIVING QUESTION

When you write a driving question, ask three questions to make sure it's good to go:

1. Will my students understand it and find it interesting?

2. Does it require in-depth inquiry and higher-level thinking to answer it? (Is it open-ended?)

3. To answer it, will my students need to learn the important content and skills I've targeted?

TYPES OF DRIVING QUESTIONS

There are two types of driving questions. A driving question can:

1. Specify a product to be created, a task to be done, or a problem to solve

eg. How can we create a picture book about the life cycle of animals in our local area?

How can we make a farm in our classroom?

How can we create a web page for other kids that recommends some good books?

How can we invent a new toy that is safe, not too expensive, and fun for five year olds?

2. Focus on a philosophical or debatable issue or an intriguing topic

eg. Should our playground be changed?

Does it matter how much sleep we get?

Do animals in stories act and think like real animals do?

What does it mean to be a good friend?

How do artists express emotions in their work?

TEMPLATE

Writing a DQ for a product

How can we, as _____________ (role), __________________ (do a task/create a product), for/to/that ____________ (purpose/audience)?

eg. How can we, as chefsplan a dinner menu to show tourists who come to our restaurants what foods are produced in the area?

LOCALISATION

Students will find a project more engaging if it relates to their own lives and communities and if it gives them a direct 'charge' to take action.

Instead of:

What are effective ways to persuade people to change their behaviour?

Try:

How can we make the drop-off zone at our school safer?

Instead of:

Who makes decisions that affect people in the community?

Try: 

Who are the leaders in our community?

or

How can we plan and host a special event to thank the people who are leaders in our community?

Instead of:

How does an ecosystem stay balanced?

Try:

How balanced are the ecosystems in our area?

or

What can we do to protect our local habitats?

 

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